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Download The World We Have Lost: England Before the Industrial Age ePub

by Peter Laslett

Download The World We Have Lost: England Before the Industrial Age ePub
  • ISBN 0684137259
  • ISBN13 978-0684137254
  • Language English
  • Author Peter Laslett
  • Publisher Charles Scribner's Sons; 2nd edition (June 1973)
  • Pages 325
  • Formats azw doc lrf lit
  • Category Social Science
  • Subcategory Anthropology
  • Size ePub 1886 kb
  • Size Fb2 1386 kb
  • Rating: 4.7
  • Votes: 976

The World We Have Lost is a seminal work in the study of family and class, kinship and community in England after the Middle Ages and before the changes brought about by the Industrial Revolution. The book explores the size and structure of families in pre-industrial England, the number and position of servants, the elite minority of gentry, rates of migration, the ability to read and write, the size and constituency of villages, cities and classes, conditions of work and social mobility.

Partially due to this glowing praise, it was with baited breath that I took hold of this book. However, after the first few chapters, that interest began to fade. Interestingly, elements of Laslett's own world bleed into the book throughout; few pages seem to go by without Laslett mentioning communism, a subject that would undoubtedly receive less mention were the then-world not becoming more and more red by the day.

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Born Thomas Peter Ruffell Laslett and educated at the Watford Grammar . One product of this desire to reach a wider audience was his pathbreaking and highly-popular book The World We Have Lost: England.

Born Thomas Peter Ruffell Laslett and educated at the Watford Grammar School for Boys, Peter Laslett studied history at St John's College, Cambridge in 1935 and graduated with a double first in 1938. Laslett combined such academic activity with a lifelong concern to engage a wider audience.

Bastardy and its Comparative History (1980).

Household and Family in Past Time (e. 1972). Family Life and Illicit Love in Earlier Generations (1977). Statistical Studies in Historical Social Structure (1979). Bastardy and its Comparative History (1980). The World We Have Lost: Further Explored (London, 1983; New York, 1984). Family Forms in Historic Europe (1983). A Fresh Map of Life (1989).

From 1966 to 1983, Peter Laslett, who has died aged 85, was reader in politics and the history of social structure at Cambridge University. He was also, with Michael Young, one of the instigators of the Open University in the 1960s, and of the University of the Third Age in the 1970s. In 1964 he was co-founder - and director - of the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure. Laslett acquired a worldwide reputation, but his university never awarded him a professorship.

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Talk about The World We Have Lost: England Before the Industrial Age

No question that the precursor events of the 19th century industrial revolution in the 17th century transformation of England from an agrarian society, the first major country of that revolution, are of more than curious interest to modern readers (and radicals). While, as is to be expected, the focus of 17th century interest is the struggle between the monarchy and parliament in the middle decades of that century the ground underneath that struggle gets full exposition in this nice little academic book under review, The World We Have Lost: England before the Industrial Age, by the prominent English professor, Peter Laslett.

While there is plenty to disagree with about Professor Laslett's personal political perspective on the mid-century "disturbance," the English Revolution (so-called English Revolution by him which gives a timely clue to his sympathies), there is no denying that he provided (for the time, 1972) an exceptional amount of interesting material about marriage, life-spans, eating habits, physical size, sexual habits of some segments of 17th century English society. Using a mass of data (a 17th century-sized mass of data which is undoubtedly skimpy by modern standards) from church, town and court records he was able to bring some startling facts about our forebears (for those of us from that corner of Europe). For example, the smaller size than one would expect of the average peasant family (and larger size, including servants , of gentry families), the late age of marriage, the pushing of children out of the family household into their own (or into the burgeoning towns) as soon as possible and much other sociological data.

Professor Laslett, naturally, as a social historian working during the heyday of fierce interest in the English Revolution with such heavyweight names as Christopher Hill. R.W. Tawney and Huge Trevor-Roper leading the way has to weigh in on the various academic controversies of the day. For example, the rising or falling gentry as a factor in the revolution, the role of neutrals, clubmen, in local disputes during the period and other localist factors between competing gentry families). His work provides extensive footnotes and commentaries at the back amounting to about one hundred pages so be prepared for some very arcane material to work through. Not every book one reads needs to be in the same political universe as one's own, and this one isn't. What it does is give plenty of good information for further study and that is a virtue in itself.
I read this book for a graduate history class. Although the book has an interesting perspective it muddles down in the middle with some odd specualtion and for whatever reason becomes a tough read.